Alexandria, VA – Marking May as Mental Health Month, Mental Health America (MHA) and L.L.Bean have announced a two-year partnership to promote outdoor activity as a simple way to improve well-being. In addition, L.L.Bean has announced a $500,000 grant to MHA to help reach people through community-based outdoor mental health-focused programs, research, and multimedia campaigns.
The partnership aims to create a connection to and inclusion in the outdoors and highlight the well-being benefits of time spent outside.
“Even a simple walk outside can lower your risk of depression, strengthen cognitive function, and increase focus,” said MHA President and CEO Schroeder Stribling. “All of these effects improve our mental health and well-being at a time when we need it most.”
Studies have shown significant benefits of spending time in nature, including greater creativity, lower levels of stress, increased self-esteem, and reduced anxiety. Being in green spaces, such as a park or other natural environment, for as little as two hours per week has been shown to have a significant positive impact on both physical health and psychological health.
“For more than a century, L.L.Bean has helped enable people to get outside, based on the belief that experiences in nature help bring out the best in us,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean executive chairman and great-grandson of the company’s founder, Leon Leonwood Bean. “Now, research confirms what we have always felt intuitively: Going outside is critical for our individual and collective well-being. We are so enthusiastic to partner with Mental Health America to help more people experience the restorative power of the outdoors in their daily lives.”
For more information on mental health and educational resources available during Mental Health Month, download MHA’s Back to Basics Toolkit.
About Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal. Learn more at MHAnational.org.